Caribbean tops 10,000 COVID-19 cases

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By Guyana Chronicle

THE total number of coronavirus cases in the Caribbean region has topped 10,000 with the Dominican Republic leading with 6,293 cases, 282 deaths and 993 recovered while Saint Lucia has had 15 cases, 15 recovered and no deaths.

This is information, as of April 27, 2020, coming out of over 30 Caribbean countries with Guyana having the 15th highest number of cases, at 74, with 8 deaths and 12 recovered.

In the hardest hit in the Region, Dominican Republic officials have put in place a national curfew that prohibits all traffic and movement of people from 5pm to 6am. Cruise arrivals have been suspended at all ports and coasts and public transportation has suspended services to limit the public’s ability to move freely in urban areas.

Roadblocks have been set up at various points throughout the country, prohibiting internal travel in the country, along with several other measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Less than half the country’s number of cases have been seen in Puerto Rico with 1,389 and 84 deaths and Cuba with 1,389 cases, 56 deaths and 525 recovery. Still the three Spanish-speaking countries rank the highest by far in the Region.

On April 13, 2020, Jamaica recorded 73 cases and was managing detection of the virus fairly well, when, suddenly, in a matter of just two weeks, the country’s cases shot to 350.

Reports as of April 27, 2020 state that a total of 178 of those now confirmed has come as a result of workplace cluster at one BPO company, Alorica.

Somewhat close behind are Martinique with 175 cases, 14 deaths and 77 recovered; Guadeloupe with 149 cases, 12 deaths and 95 recovered and Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana’s close neighbour, with 116 cases, 8 deaths and 59 recovered.

Just on Saturday, the twin island extended its stay-at-home order to May 15 and its Prime Minister will address the population on May 10 to advise whether any changes are necessary.

French Guiana, Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados all have cases between 111 and 79 while Saint Maarten, Haiti and Guyana all had 74 cases as of Monday.

In the Cayman Islands there are 70 cases, 1 death and 8 recovered; in the US Virgin Islands there are 59 cases, 4 deaths and 51 recovered; in Saint Martin there are 38 cases, 3 deaths and 24 recovered while Antigua and Barbuda has 24 cases, 3 deaths and 11 recovered.

With COVID-19 cases hovering in the teens and with high recovery rates are Belize, Grenada, Curacao, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia; the latter experiencing full recovery and no new cases.

On Monday, the country’s government announced a relaxation of some of the measures, put in place to prevent the spread of virus but said that the 10-hour daily curfew, zoning and stay-at-home policy would remain in effect.

Its Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet said that the construction sector, private doctors and clinic and local designers, tailors and seamstresses would be allowed to reopen under strict protocols.

“We must have the ability to take decisions quickly, if the situation suddenly changes,” he said in a media broadcast.

Experiencing the lowest cases thus far are Turks and Caicos, Montserrat, Saint Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Saint Eustatius and Guyana’s neighbour, Suriname with cases between 12 and 2.

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